Donetsk, Mar 17 - DAN. The Donetsk People's Republic militia has destroyed a strongpoint of 1st Mechanized Battalion of the Ukrainian army’s 54th Brigade in clashes for Maryinka.

“During the liberation of Maryinka from Ukrainian gunmen, a strongpoint of 54th Brigade 1st Mechanized Battalion has been destroyed. A search found foreign weapons there,” DPR People’s Militia deputy commander Eduard Basurin said.

The weapons included NLAW and SMAW grenade launchers, an AN/TPQ-48 counter mortar radar and personal items of U.S. instructors. DPR militiamen found a Tennessee State flag at the scene and other items apparently belonging to Captain Michael Hawker, Lieutenant Logan Shrum and Lieutenant Cruz Tomblin who came to Donbass in 2018.

Basurin said that up to 30 Ukrainian gunmen had been killed on the Donetsk axis on Thursday, and that one enemy tank and one infantry fighting vehicle had been captured.

Maryinka is a town and district centre which connects with Donetsk in the southwest.  Ukrainian forces have been launching massive strikes at Donetsk’s Petrovsky district from this area throughout the Donbass conflict. The liberation of the town will push the contact line several kilometers away from Donetsk, making certain city areas much safer. *jk